Also a debate Tuesday, hosted by the Brooklyn Chambers of Commerce and centered on small-business issues, Republican mayoral rivals, Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis, sparred over Mr. Lhota's decision to raise fares and tolls as MTA chairman.
"You should have put your foot down and said, 'No increase,'" said Mr. Catsimatidis, according to report by Chris Bragg. "That's what you call leadership."
"You can say that, but the requirement is that you have to balance the budget," replied Mr. Lhota, who was coping with cuts in government aid to his agency.
Mr. Lhota said that Albany had essentially forced the MTA to raise fares every two years because of a 2009 decision by state lawmakers to raid the agency's revenue streams. Mr. Lhota also said the mayor and New York City Council should instead take over the MTA to avoid such problems. Mr. McDonald agreed, while Mr. Carrión did not. Mr. Catsimatidis called for the agency to be split up. The agency serves seven counties outside of the city.